The Crayford site, which is a key piece of recycling infrastructure in the London area and south east England, is understood to have been sold by Viridor at the end of 2021.
Viridor has been divesting itself of “non-core assets” and now retains energy from waste facilities and plastics recycling reprocessing capabilities. In May last year it sold its collections business and some recycling assets to Biffa for £126 million.
For N+P the acquisition of the materials recycling facility – which is thought to take in up to 335,000 tonnes of commingled local authority material annually – marks a major investment in the UK. The company is also understood to have taken on the experienced management team and workforce at Crayford.
The purchase has been made through N&P Crayford Holding Ltd and Viridor’s 28 local authority customers have been briefed on the change of ownership and are now served by N+P. Current contract lists have not been disclosed but in the past few years Viridor has worked with councils such as Kent, Lewes, Ealing, Lewisham, East Sussex and Rochford.
In the past N+P has specialised in the production and supply of waste derived materials for various industries and is a major exporter of refused derived fuel (RDF) from the UK. However, in November last year it signalled its intent to expand operations into more recycling with the announcement of an agreement to acquire a ‘lightweight packaging sorting plant’ in Rotterdam from PreZero.
The Crayford MRF has played a big part in the sorting of materials for many years. Originally developed by the Doran brothers as Grosvenor Waste Management, Viridor acquired the MRF and other operations in an £81 million deal in 2007 (see letsrecycle.com story). The price paid by N+P for the Crayford facility has not yet been disclosed.
In 2018 Viridor announced that it had spent £2.7 million on improving quality of paper produced at the site, which generates around 140,000 tonnes annually. Investment also saw around £1 million spent on a Helios fire protection and water cannon system.
A monthly breakdown of material produced at the MRF in January last year showed that of 34,811 tonnes handled, this included: Mixed paper No7 12,630 tonnes; OCC 4,010 tonnes; plastics 4,000 tonnes and glass 8,644 tonnes.